Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, focused on faith's role in public life in his fourth religious liberty floor address November 4, 2015.
Here's a list of five video clips from the speech, including his thoughts on the term "the separation of church and state," a term that "has become shorthand for a particular narrative about the history and status of religion in American life."
Belief that faith should be contained in a private sphere is inconsistent with American history
Hatch talked about the origins of the phrase "separation of church and state," which was advocated by founding father Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson encouraged Virginia to end "state prescription and proscription to any particular religion," he said, through the Law for the Establishment of Religious Freedom, which passed in 1786. However, the movement to drive faith out of government is "inconsistent with our history and our Constitution," Hatch said.
Early America allowed states to establish religions
State constitutions during the Revolutionary War brought a disestablishment between a number of state churches, especially with the Church of England, but the new Republic did not establish a strict separation, Hatch said.
Faith flourishes from individuals, families and communities, not government
Hatch said the purpose of the speech was noting "the incongruity between the conventional wisdom of rigid separation between church and state" and the history of religion in public life, not advocating for "states to return to the era of officially established churches."
'Judicial activism' reason for 'radical rewriting of the Constitution'
The Establishment Clause, which "prevented the federal government from choosing a preferred religious sect," Hatch said, was one of the Supreme Court's "first victims" during the mid-twentieth century.
'Stringent exclusion' undermines religious liberty, sends negative message to religious believers
Hatch said current practices limit religious liberty, "fueling the view that religion is a private matter rather than a fundamental precept of American civil society." This sends a message to religious believers that they need to hide their religion, he said.